CRIMVOL: The international criminal justice voluntary sector research network

This is a new international, multidisciplinary criminal justice voluntary sector research network for academics, practitioners and policymakers. The network fills an important gap in scholarship and infrastructure: the criminal justice voluntary sector is more topical than ever before, but has not received academic attention commensurate with its importance anywhere in the world.

June Event ECRThe network is chaired by Dr Philippa Tomczak (Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, University of Sheffield Centre for Criminological Research, Author of The Penal Voluntary Sector). Philippa won funding from the British Academy (Rising Star Engagement Award) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association (Seminar Competition) to launch the network at our inaugural international conference in June 2017. The network already has over 70 members.

Thanks to generous funding from the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award scheme, the network benefits from a steering group of specialist early career researchers (PDF), drawn from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Eire, Finland, Denmark and Canada. The network is championed by Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms (Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield) and Professor Joanna Shapland (University of Sheffield). Dr David Thompson (University of Sheffield) supports the running of the network and has recently authored a book exploring the involvement of the voluntary sector in criminal justice.

Network aims

The network aims to bring academics, practitioners and policy makers together to establish the 'state of the art' in criminal justice voluntary sector research, paying particular attention to:

  • identifying needs and gaps in the research capacity of academics, practitioners and policymakers
  • the range and adequacy of theoretical and methodological tools used in criminal justice voluntary sector research, and the ethics of such research
  • voluntary sector governance, regulation and safeguarding in commissioning, contractual and informal service delivery relationships with statutory agencies
  • the effects of contractual provisions in shaping voluntary organisations' activities.

Find out more

If you are interested in learning more about the network please contact Philippa Tomczak ( or David Thompson (

Network funders

CCR logo The Leverhulme Trust Logo
SLSA Logo British Academy Logo

The network fills an important gap in scholarship and infrastructure